[Editor’s note: The following post contains spoilers for “A Star Is Born.”]
“A Star Is Born” is getting a minor tweak for its theatrical release in New Zealand (via The Guardian). David Shanks, the head of the New Zealand film classification board, has demanded the Warner Bros. film include a suicide warning note before the movie begins. The request was made after the film board received word that “two young people had been ‘severely triggered’ after watching the scene in which Bradley Cooper’s character hangs himself in his garage.”
According to The Guardian, the country’s Mental Health Foundation reported similar complaints about the film’s suicide to the New Zealand film board. The movie was originally rated M (“unrestricted, suitable for 16 years and over”) for “sex scenes, offensive language, and drug use,” but now “suicide” has been added to the official classification.
“Many people in New Zealand have been impacted by suicide,” Shanks said. “For those who have lost someone close to them, a warning gives them a chance to make an informed choice about watching.”
“A Star Is Born” stars Bradley Cooper as Jackson Maine, an aging country music star struggling with alcohol addiction and substance abuse. Jackson falls in love with an aspiring singer-songwriter named Ally (Lady Gaga) and eventually takes his own life after he is led to believe his damaging behavior will forever hurt Ally’s career.
While the suicide occurs offscreen, both Shanks and the Mental Health Foundation still felt the movie should include a warning about the subject matter, especially since “they had heard some viewers left feeling extremely distressed and requiring access to professional support.” Netflix’s teen drama “13 Reasons Why,” which also depicts suicide, added a similar warning note in Season 2 after viewers were triggered by the subject matter in the previous season.
“A Star Is Born” is rated R in the United States. The music romance is now playing in theaters nationwide.